Mustangs, Knights achieve mixed results during Monday baseball, softball games (5/2)

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – Baseball and softball action in the Lakota region made up the local action on May 2. Here is how each team fared Monday evening: 

Baseball: 

B Baseball – Region III: 

Midkota/Dakota Prairie/Lakota/Griggs Co. Central vs. May-Port-C-G

Final score: 8-0 May-Port-C-G 

The breakdown:       

    - MPCG: 3 0 0 0 0 5 0: 8 8 1 

    - MDPL: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0: 0 6 6 

Standout stats: 

- May-Port-C-G 

    Pitching: 

    - Lucas Fugleberg: W, 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 31 P (21 S) 

    - Ethan Bergstrom: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 24 P (14 S) 

    - Jacob Hutter: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 42 P (25 S)

    Hitting: 

    - Reed Kritzberger: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB 

    - Andrew Aarsvold: 1-4 (1 2B), 0 R, 2 RBI, 2 K 

- Midkota/Dakota Prairie/Lakota/Griggs Co. Central

    Pitching: 

    - Trent Ekren: L, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 92 P (57 S) 

    - Cade Stein: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 P (6 S) 

    - Kyle Johnson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 P (9 S) 

    Hitting: 

    - Zach Gibson: 2-4, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K 

At a glance: 

Defense wins championships, yes. Defense also wins games leading up to those eventual championships, too. Such was the problem for the Mustangs Monday evening. The team committed six total errors in the contest. The Mustangs have now committed 14 total errors in three games this season. 

The Midkota/Dakota Prairie/Lakota/Griggs Co. Central Mustangs were unable to overcome the defensive miscues on May 2.

“The biggest takeaway from both last night and last Thursday was that we’ve established the identity of this team,” Midkota/Dakota Prairie/Lakota/Griggs Co. Central head coach Logan Lund said. “We’ve said from day one that our pitching and our ability to run the bases is going to keep us in a lot of games. Both of those parts of the game have been great for us, but sometimes a pitcher is only as good as his defense plays that day. It’s pretty easy to look at the box score and figure out that our defense is what has let us down to this point.” 

Up next: 

The Mustangs (1-2) will next play host to LaMoure-Litchville/Marion on May 3 at Tolna Baseball Field. 

Softball: 

B Softball – Region 2: 

Doubleheader Game 1: Dakota Prairie vs. Pembina County North (@ Mayville State University)

Final score: 29-1 Pembina County North. 

Doubleheader Game 2: Dakota Prairie vs. Larimore (@ Mayville State University) 

Final score: 20-14 Dakota Prairie 

At a glance: 

Dakota Prairie was in a similar situation to practically every other team in the area. The situation, you might ask? They still needed to get their feet wet. Well, literally and figuratively. After all, weather postponements and cancellations prevented the team from starting its season on time and getting valuable in-game experience. 

The team had to adjust to a sharp curveball right away once they took to the field at Mayville State University. 

“The first game, it kind of went how I imagined it,” Dakota Prairie head coach Benjamin Morris said. “That was when we lost to Pembina [County North]. We could tell we had not been outside, had not pitched off a mound…we actually played on a college football field, so it was actually on turf. A lot of these girls have never seen turf before, so it was kind of a really quick learning curve and that sort of stuff.” 

Dakota Prairie took to the field for the first time during the 2022 season on May 2.

Although the playing surface – not to mention walks – proved to be a thorn in Dakota Prairie’s side during the first game, the second game shifted more in the Knights’ favor as they picked up their first win. 

To Morris, the change started during the first game. After rounding the team together during the final at-bat, Morris kept the message simple: build momentum for the next game. 

To Morris, getting on base and scoring a run during that final at-bat was critical. 

“We scored 20 runs the second game, we got girls on base [and] we were flying around,” Morris said. “We got confident. That also led into the defensive side. We got sloppy [during] the first couple of innings, but then, toward the end, we locked down and made the plays we were supposed to. Outfielders were hitting the cuts. They looked like a completely different team at the end of the second game.” 

Up next: 

The Knights (1-1) will next take on Pembina County North once more on May 5. 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell  phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.